A strong winter storm that has battered Europe with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains has killed at least five people and caused severe travel disruption.

Two men, one in southern England and another in the north of Slovenia, died after their cars were hit by falling trees.

Two women, a mother and her daughter, died in Poland after the storm ripped off the roof of a ski rental equipment building in the mountain resort of Bukowina Tatrzanska, near the border with Slovakia, and sent it crashing on to people standing near a ski lift, police said.

Two other people were injured in the incident.

A tree lies on a car in Hamburg, Germany (Daniel Bockwoldt

In Sweden, one man drowned after the boat he and another person were sailing in on the southern lake of Fegen capsized.

The victim was washed ashore and later died.

The other person is still missing, according to the Aftonbladet daily.

The storm has now largely passed through France, though meteorologists warned that the Mediterranean island of Corsica could see winds as high as 200kph.

Waves lashed the northern coast, and high winds blew a lorry on to its side on the A2 that links Belgium with France.

A tree blocks a road in the Taunus region in a strong storm near Frankfurt, Germany

Up to 130,000 homes were without electricity, stretching from Brittany, in western France, through Normandy and the northern regions.

In Germany, utility companies were also scrambling to restore power to some 50,000 homes in northern Bavaria.

Train travel across Europe’s biggest economy was also severely disrupted, leaving many commuters unable to get to work.

Deutsche Bahn said it was slowly resuming long-distance rail services in the north of the country but warned travellers to expect further disruption.

Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights from German airports.

People on the Feldberg mountain during a strong storm near Frankfurt

The storm, which was dubbed Sabine in Germany, also led to school closures in several cities and regions, including Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state, where several people were injured by falling branches and trees.

Meteorologists expect gusts up to 140 kilometres per hour (87mph) in mountainous areas of southern Germany.

About 96,000 households were also without electricity across the Czech Republic and at least seven flights from Prague’s international airport were cancelled, including the flights to Zurich, Munich, Frankfurt, Duesseldorf, London and Amsterdam.

An Airbus A320 operated by Qatar Airways was diverted from Prague to Vienna after the pilots were not able to land.

Dozens of train routes were blocked due to trees on the tracks, while other trains were delayed.

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